Lunch with a millionaire

I had a great opportunity to have a lunch with a millionaire. One-on-one. He paid for it. With his cash. That checks mark on one many to-do things on my lists.

It is the first time that I had this chance outside of business meetings, or with one who is not related to me. The motive – wanted to understand what they think, how they think, what they say, and what makes them the top 1%.

I asked him some questions. I made notes. I enjoyed my Pizza too. Here are few things that I think made him different from the herd. I guess this is generic attributes about these top 1% based on some of the books that I have read and interviews that I have seen.

My top 10 learning from my lunch with the millionaire:

  1. Opinionated: He is highly opinionated. Believes in what he knows and what he does. “Convince and argue about your opinions unless your opinion is convincingly changed by the other person” he quoted.
  2. Benevolent dictator: Steve Jobs could get away by being dictator. Because he was genius and he saw that nobody could see or understand. “Learn the tactic to get things done, but with patience, perseverance, and through winning credibility by proving right several times over”.
  3. Early adopter: His anecdotes were filled with stories about how he bought early HP 150, how he had the first MAC, how he learned the first programming, how he wrote his first mobile app, and so on. He was early adapter. He is equally excited to Samsung S3, and reads all the rumors about iPhone 5.
  4. Story teller: He was very interesting person to talk to. He could non-stop narrate stories about his learning, experiment, traveling, and everything else for 60 minutes without a pause.
  5. Keeping up with everything: Reads a lot. Had opinion on almost every topic. Read about everything and knew what’s happening around him. He is the living Huffington Post.
  6. Passionate: Compassionate. Motivated. Passion. His stories were filled with emotions.
  7. Networking: His stories were filled with meeting people and exchanging opinions and bouncing ideas. When you are this interesting and has lot of stories to tell, it is easier to meet more interesting people and develop stories.
  8. Simple and reachable: Responsive. Agile. Friendly. Always reachable. Open for feedback. Highly opinionated, but open for discussion and changes his thinking process.
  9. Visionary: He always answers for ‘what if’ and ‘5-years’ roadmap questions. Not just on what he is doing, but on things such as Android phones to cars to everything.
  10. Opportunistic:  “Silicon Valley is filled with opportunities. Many people see this as a place to find jobs, and the problem is that Fish can never see water”. Think big and be opportunistic.

These were my interpretations of the guy who built and sold three successful large companies, where one of them was a public company. His net worth is in tens of millions of dollars. What a lunch!


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